Meet the first of the young Greenpeace enthusiasts from around the world, the Green Reporters, who have come to COP17 to offer themselves as a two-way microphone for the common global youth voice who demand “It’s Our Future, Use Renewables Now!”

In South Africa, I realise that making energy supply available to the masses is a central challenge and critical factor in shaping our social and economic future developments. I believe the people have the capacity, the resources, the skills and most importantly, the desire to obtain our energy in environmentally sustainable ways such as wind, solar, hydro and biofuels. 

The question as to why we have not invested in these technologies is what I seek to find out. 

Quality of life is being severely affected due to climate change, which then has a ripple effect on other aspects of living - life expectancy, quality of health and an increase in deadly diseases such as cancer. 

With this being said, I seek to understand why South Africa is investing in coal-fired power stations instead of renewables. It doesn’t seem logical from an environmental point of view. As kids, we climbed trees, rolled in the sand, played with bugs and ran around barefoot. In doing this, we experienced tremendous oneness with the earth and understood that we could not survive without the earth sustaining us.

If greed and power struggles continue, we as a species will struggle to survive. I understand that using fear as a bargaining chip sometimes isn’t fair, but in this case the truth of the matter is that we don’t have the luxury of wasting more time. With the increasing population and  increasing demand on resources, it’s just a matter of time before we reach food and water shortages of catastrophic proportions. 

There’s a lot riding on these talks - those in power should realise that it’s not just about money and control, it’s about human beings - listen to the people, not the polluters. 

Let’s all unite and make a stand. Together we will fix this!

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